Velvet blazer from Proudrace
#1 Crush shirt from Proudrace
Painted jeans, gift from Bryan Goh
Boots from Dr Martens
All photos by Edric Chen. Visit his blog at edricchen.tumblr.com
One thing I probably miss the most right now is playing activity games outside with friends.
When I was young, every after school I would always hurry up to go home. Then I'd follow my routine: remove my dirty shirt, my dirty blue trousers, and my throw my socks and ugly leather shoes so I could play outside with all my friends in the village.
During my grade school days, we used to live in a small village called "Palmera" in Rizal. Most of the kids on my street were nearly my age that's why it wouldn't be surprising to hear us running, screaming, and laughing every afternoon. We used to be a big group of energetic sweaty kids who wouldn't stop playing until it gets dark, or in my case, until 5 PM because it would be time to watch my all-time favorite anime show Ghost Fighter (Yu Yu Hakusho).
Since we were a big group, whenever we played games we always divided ourselves into subgroups. I always got voted as the the leader because I was really good at making fast decisions. And at the same time, it was quite innate in me to order people around (I think I still have that ability now). I was always a very competitive leader (and I think I still have this ability until now too). I always chose either the athletic kids or the pretty kids as group members because, aside from my silent love for beauty even as a kid, I also wanted to be the better team. I made sure we were all ahead of our game.
We had a long list of games. From habulan (tag), tagu-taguan (hide & seek), langi't lupa (similar to tag but with different rules), football (football played as baseball), and more local games such as agawan base, patintero, syato, tumbang-preso, turumpo, teks, and the list would go on and on. We even came up with a game of catching grasshoppers and putting them on bottles. The most grasshoppers caught wins the game (poor grasshoppers).
To me, they were all my best friends - every single one of them. Aside from being a competitive leader, I was also a very loyal listener. They would tell me stories about their good grades and their failing grades. I was the first to know who their crushes were because they knew I wouldn't tell anyone about it. They would complain how much they hated their Moms for scolding them because of their unfinished homework. They'd tell me the jokes they picked up from school (most of the time dirty). They would confess who they didn't like from the group, but of course I always stayed neutral because I treated everyone equally. I always listened intently and made little comments when needed. I made it to a point that I had everyone's trust.
Even though my skin always got burned from the sun, and I had so many mosquito bites on my legs and blisters on my feet, everything was worth it because I had the best childhood ever.
Sadly, we moved out of the village after grade school and I had to say goodbye to all my playmates. I never saw each of their happy faces ever again.
There are events in life you cannot repeat.
Lately I've been constantly daydreaming of playing outside with friends again. As much as I want to, time has already changed the world. The kids of our generation today have already outgrown playing outside. They rather play computer games or watch television indoors. Technology has replaced our favorite patintero and tumbang-preso. It's a sad and bitter reality.
Because I can't turn back time, I'm going to adjust with it. Instead of just reminiscing the past, I'll just apply what I've learned to my challenges today. My plan is to meet new faces. Who knows one of them can turn into a long-term friend. I'll always be available and ready to listen to people who needs someone to talk to. I'll be more playful. When I'm stressed out, instead of complaining, I'll just find ways to relieve tension like playing Pokemon on Nintendo DS. I'm going to love the sun more. No more hiding indoors. I'll start exploring what's outside and have a little adventure. Lastly, I'll always be ahead of my game. I'm gonna stop whining whenever I feel defeated. Anyway, there is never a big problem when you ask for a little help from friends. TheBeatles